Despite these, a career in oil and gas does not seem attractive for the new environmentally-sensitive generation: A 2016 study by McKinsey revealed that a 14% of millennials would not be interested in pursuing a career in the sector, due to its ‘negative image’ from environmental and tough-working-conditions point of view.

#4 quick facts about working in oil and gas

  • Working conditions in oil and gas sector can vary from being in a ‘cushy’ office with personal assistant to working onboard desolate platforms in extreme weather conditions. The most intense work schedules are probably on the onshore and offshore rigs.
  • While oil and gas job is typically associated with working on an oil platform, only 6% are based offshore, according to
  • An EY survey showed that younger generations, including Millennials and Generation Z, ‘question the longevity of the industry as they view natural gas and oil as 'their parents' fuels'.
  • Only 2% of US college graduates consider oil and gas their top job choice, according to Accenture.

The above reports indicate a powerful disincentive for younger generations to pursue a career path to this direction, but information around career prospects in any industry are key for professional orientation.

So, let’s explore 7 indicative career paths in the oil and gas industry!

1.Petroleum engineer

  • A petroleum engineer is involved in almost all stages of oil and gas field assessment, development and production:
    -Petroleum geologists analyze subsurface structures to find hydrocarbons,
    -Reservoir engineers use computer simulations to assist in risk assessment,
    -Production engineers manage the interface between the reservoir and the well through tasks such as perforations, sand control, artificial lift, downhole flow control and downhole monitoring equipment, and
    -Drilling engineers
    responsible for developing, costing and supervising the operations necessary for drilling oil and gas wells.
  • The salary of a petroleum engineer is estimated at $96,374 per year in US, according to, while they can expect to earn £55,000-£95,000 in UK, according to
  • Working hours are the typical 9am to 5pm, but often require some extra hours. For the offshore segment, working hours are typically 12 hours on and 12 hours off continuously for two weeks. Then there is another two or three weeks break onshore.

2. Energy engineer

  • Energy engineer is involved in the production of energy through natural resources, such as the extraction of oil and gas, or from renewable sources of energy, such as biofuels, hydro, wind and solar power.
  • Energy engineers may be based in an office or laboratory on land or on-site.
  • In the field of design, research or development roles, estimated work program is typically the Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. In power plant or drilling operations, you may encounter a 7-day shift pattern.
  • In US, energy engineers can earn about $80,600 per year, while in UK, salary for experienced applicants can range £35,000 to £60,000.

3. Geoscientist

  • A geoscientist (geophysicist, geologist, geochemist, hydrogeologist or sedimentologist) is employed for interpreting geophysical, geochemical and geological data to develop models for discovering commercially viable reserves of natural resources, such as oil, gas, minerals and water.
  • Typical salaries at senior level range from £40,000 to £75,000 per year in UK and from $62,000 to $150,000 in US.
  • Geoscientists can be based in offices or laboratories with typical working hours or at sea with different working hours (i.e. in exploration).

4. Engineering geologist

  • An engineering geologist is to assess natural conditions, such as geological risks and deal with factors that could affect engineering works.
  • In UK, salaries for the experienced staff reach £40,000 to £50,000.
  • Engineering geologists typically do not need to work weekends or shifts.

5. Hydrographic surveyor

  • Hydrographic surveyors usually work onboard survey ships and platforms for measuring and mapping underwater surfaces and studying the morphology of the seabed.
  • Typical starting salaries in UK range from £14,000 to £25,000 plus an allowance of £70 to £110 per day for each day spent offshore. In US, hydrographers earn about $49,397 annually, according to

6. Mining engineer

  • A mining engineer ensures the efficient development of mines and other surface and underground operations. Mining engineers are involved at all stages of a project. Before a new site is developed, they assess its viability, oversee mining production processes and are involved in the final closure and rehabilitation process.
  • UK salaries can start from £21,000-£27,000 and reach £50,000-£75,000 at a senior level. The range is $54,218 - $119,797 annually for the US, according to PayScale.
  • Hours of work are long, mostly overseas.

7. Mudlogger

  • A mudlogger monitors drilling activity, recording information about the well status during the extraction of oil or gas.
  • Mudloggers frequently work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, sometimes for up to four weeks at a time. However, the more likely is to spend two weeks offshore and two weeks at home.
  • Salary for an experienced mudlogger varies from £45,000 to £70,000 in UK and $21,929 - $68,426 in US.

The opportunities are not drained to the end of this article, but extent to every aspect of operations onboard a drilling rig, an offshore platform, a seismic vessel, a fabrication yard, but also in traditional office roles.

The first step for a bigger appreciation of a career in oil and gas may be a bigger familiarization with procedures and opportunities surrounding the sector in a professional level. In a deeper level, the change may lie in a cultural change from the industry and/or a change of perception from the young candidates of the work market.

Oil and gas companies may need more profound changes to meet demands for meaningful work and social responsibility to attract the next generation of top engineering and leadership talent,

 - McKinsey.